"I have meat to eat that ye know not of"
Devotion for Tuesday, May 19, 2020
John 4:32, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.”
We saw yesterday a very fascinating connection between food and the Old Testament. This parallel continues into the New Testament. And of course, it begins with Jesus.
Jesus was tempted by Satan in the Wilderness after the Lord had spent forty days fasting and spiritually preparing for the ministry ahead. Matthew records an obvious state of being for Jesus after this period of fasting – “afterward He was hungry.”
Of course, this is where Satan attacks first, the appetite of Jesus. Jesus is God the Son, the Word made Flesh. Satan does not first attack the savior in His spiritual state, but focuses on the physical. Satan challenges Jesus to “prove” His Sonship by turning the stones to bread.
However, Jesus proves His Sonship not by a miraculous work, but by His obedient submission to God’s Word. He replies, “it is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)
Jesus demonstrates the sustaining power of the Word of God. Just as food and water is vital to physical well-being, so is the Word of God for the disciple. Scripture gives us the life giving sustenance to accomplish God’s calling in our lives. We should also note that Jesus quotes the verse from Deuteronomy 8:3 that says we are to live upon EVERY Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. We cannot pick and choose which instructions we are going to follow, while overlooking or refusing to follow commandments with which we don’t agree.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus further illustrates the primacy of God’s Word as his fuel for life. At the conclusion of His conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus’ disciples return with food, urging their master to eat. Jesus responds, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” (KJV)
This perplexes the disciples, who think someone else got Him food. But Jesus responds, “My FOOD is to do the WILL of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” (John 4:34)
In His earthly ministry Jesus was fueled by His Father’s will. It is what drove him, it is what he thought about when he woke up, when he went to sleep, as he travelled from one town to the other. The Father’s Word and will for His life was the absolute primary force in His life.
Often times we ask God, “If you would just show me your will, I will follow it.” Brother and sister, please understand the connection between the WORD of God and the WILL of God. Jesus tells us that we must follow EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of the Father. He then declares that our food should be to do the Will of the Father and to finish His WORK.
What is His work? It is not a mystery! Jesus continues, “Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35b)
The WORD of God, the WILL of God, and the WORK of God center upon bringing the gospel to bear in a world that is lost and dying. THAT IS GOD’S WILL FOR YOUR LIFE – THAT IS THE GREAT THEME OF HIS WORD.
Jesus did not allow temptation, hidden snares, appetites, schedules, routines, worldly demands to get in the way of partaking in His food – accomplishing the Father’s Work. He listened to the Word of God and claimed the victory.
You may say, “That is Jesus – God’s Son. That isn’t me. I am not called to that standard.” Brother and sister, if you are a disciple of Christ, you are called to exactly that standard. “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Pastor, Sharon First Baptist Church